The construction of High Speed 2 can begin despite the UK being in lockdown due to COVID-19. The government has issued a ‘notice to proceed’. The government says this is a ‘vote of confidence’ for the UK construction industry and wider supply chains.
‘While the government’s top priority is rightly to combat the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives, we cannot delay work on our long-term plan to level-up the country… Following the decision earlier this year to proceed with the project, this next step provides thousands of construction workers and businesses across the country with certainty at a time when they need it, and means that work can truly begin on delivering this transformational project.’ – HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson
The joint venture companies will start construction in line with advice from Public Health England to help protect workers and the public.
Four ‘work packages’ will work on the construction of Phase One, London to Birmingham. The joint ventures include companies such as Skanska Construction, Sire Robert McAlpine and Balfour Beatty.
When finished the high speed railway will link London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. Trains are expected to start running between 2028/2031.